photo: Brian Guiney @fivealive55

South Downtown Design + Activation (Soda)

Project status: completed

The South Downtown Design and Activation planning process (aka “Soda”, 2017-2019) is a partnership of The East Cut Community Benefits District (CBD) and City agencies to identify a comprehensive community vision for the public realm of San Francisco's South Downtown – the Transit Center District and Rincon Hill. 

Twenty years ago, much of the South Downtown area (see map below) was characterized by light industrial land uses, surface parking lots, and streets dominated by private automobiles. Today, following the adoption of the Rincon Hill Area Plan, the Transbay Redevelopment Plan and the Transit Center District Sub-Area Plan, South Downtown is a high-density mixed-use neighborhood. To meet evolving community aspirations for a safe, resilient and vibrant public realm, the South Downtown Design + Activation community planning process (Soda) engaged area residents and workers in a series of workshops to refine streetscape and open space concepts of the Transit Center District Plan and previous planning efforts.

Streetscape concepts that were refined via the Soda process will inform ongoing and future streetscape projects and are documented in the South Downtown Streetscape Report (42MB PDF). Ideas for activation and stewardship of streets and publicly accessible open spaces are spearheaded by The East Cut Community Benefit District (CBD) and are documented in the East Cut Street Life Plan, attached as an appendix to the South Downtown Streetscape Report.

South Downtown



Spring 2017 Interagency Coordination; Background Research
Summer 2017 Develop communications plan
August 2, 2017 First Outreach Event: Kickoff and Project Overview
August - December 2017 Focused Outreach Events, Lunch-and-Learns
September 10, 2017 Walking Tour and Street Party
October 30, 2017 Community Workshop Number 2
May 5, 2018 Spear Street Cul-de-Sac Park Pop-up Party
Spring 2018 Soda Studio: Focused pop-up lunchtime outreach events for office workers
Spring 2018 Pop-up Planning Office at 160 Spear Street
Spring 2019 Focused Outreach Events to Property Owners, Tenants and Merchants along Corridors with Near-Term Streetscape Projects
May 16 & 18, 2019 Community Workshop Number 3
July 31, 2019 Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Stakeholder Workshop #1
June 23, 2020 Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Virtual Stakeholder Workshop #2


Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Virtual Stakeholder Workshop #2 – June 23, 2020

Minna/Natoma Art Corridor Stakeholder Workshop #1  – July 31, 2019

Community Open House 3 – May 16 & 18, 2019

Pop-Up Party to Explore Potential Future Park in Spear Street Cul-de-Sac – May 5, 2018

Community Open House 2 – October 30, 2017

Community Open House 1 – August 2, 2017